Housing developer apologies for delay in Wells road improvements

Hopkins Homes development director Simon Bryan. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Hopkins Homes development director Simon Bryan. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: Simon Finlay

A housing developer has apologised for a delay in implementing road improvements which were part of its planning conditions for a large scheme in Wells, but said work was due to start soon.

Hopkins Homes was given permission last year to build 123 homes off Two Furlong Hill.

Victory Housing Trust has since signed a contract with Hopkins to build 40 of them as affordable homes on Market Lane.

But as a requirement of the planning permission the developer was to implement a 20mph speed limit and carry out road improvements for Burnt Street and Church Street.

The matter was raised at Wells Town Council as the work was supposed to be done before any of the new homes were occupied.

A statement issued by Hopkins Homes said delays were caused because the designs had to undergo 'numerous changes' following safety audits and surveys.

Simon Bryan, development director at Hopkins Homes, said: 'We are very sorry for the delay in commencing the works, however we have been working with the Highways Authority since October last year to deliver our obligations as part of the agreed planning permission.

Most Read

'Before the works are able to commence there are many safety audits and surveys that have to be undertaken. It is vital that the works that are undertaken deliver a speed reducing and safe highway network for both vehicles and pedestrians and therefore the designs have undergone numerous changes over the past months to ensure this is achieved.

'I am pleased to say however that verbal agreement has now been reached and once final sign off is received we are hoping to commence works as soon as possible.' He added that an extension of the 30mph speed limit on the B1150 was due to be implemented by the Highways Authority imminently. Sales of the first of the homes will not be completed until next year.

Councillor Campbell MacCallum said conditions had to be met.

'They have to do certain things within certain times and they can't sell any properties until it is in place,' he said. 'Our concern is road safety especially with the proximity of the high school and a primary school as children are crossing the roads in all different directions. The town council has just spent a lot of money on safer routes for children and Hopkins also have to honour their responsibilities.'

County councillor Dr Marie Strong said she was regularly being asked by local residents when the improvements would be carried out.

'Since apparently some of the properties are near to completion I have asked that the process be speeded up,' she said.

* What do you think? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk